Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. FFRF.org

Overheard (September 2021)

Vol. 38 No. 07 September 2021

If they’re [the Catholic bishops] going to politically weaponize religion by ‘rebuking’ Democrats who support women’s reproductive choice, then a ‘rebuke’ of their tax-exempt status may be in order.

U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, in a tweet about the Catholic Church potentially not allowing communion to President Biden and other Catholic politicians who vote for pro-choice measures.

Twitter, 6-18-21


We’re beyond apologies, we need to talk about accountability. If Nazi war criminals can be tried at an elderly age for their war crimes, I think we should be tracking down the living survivors of the church — being the priests and the nuns — who had a hand in this.

Chief Jason Louie, Lower Kootenay Band, commenting on Pope Francis’ belated plans to meet in December with Canadian Indigenous leaders about the church’s role in cultural genocide, neglect and abuse. Almost a thousand human remains recently have been found at Catholic-run residential schools for Indigenous children removed from their families.

The New York Times, 7-1-21


It’s like choosing which side of the flat Earth we’re going to jump off.

Infectious disease physician Luana Araujo, during Brazil’s parliamentary inquiry into the government’s (mis)handling of the pandemic. More than 520,000 Brazilians have died of Covid-19. but President Jair Bolsonaro has promoted hydroxychloroquine and other useless treatments. 

The New York Times, 7-6-21


I need you to understand something and I say it without any hyperbole: White Evangelicals need to be stopped, now. We’ve seen this play out throughout history and we know how it ends. We know what unchecked religious extremist is capable of and we know the cost of the silence and inaction of good people. 

John Pavlovitz, longtime Christian pastor, writer and activist.

Goodmenproject.com, 6-12-21


I was frightened by the Religious Right in its triumphant phase. But it turns out that the movement is just as dangerous in decline.

Michelle Goldberg, in her column, “The Christian Right is in decline, and it’s taking America with it.”

The New York Times, 7-9-21


It is a world in which demons are real, miracles are real, and the ultimate mission is not just transforming individual lives but also turning civilization itself into their version of God’s Kingdom: one with two genders, no abortion, a free-market economy, bible-based education, church-based social programs and laws such as the ones curtailing LGBTQ rights now moving through statehouses around the country.

Stephanie McCrummen, author of the article “An American Kingdom: A new and rapidly growing Christian movement is openly political, wants a nation under God’s authority, and is central to Donald Trump’s GOP.”

Washington Post, 7-11-21


It isn’t bringing me closer to Christ, it’s giving me U.T.I.s.

Lindsay Perez, 34, a  young Mormon woman baring all about the gynecological harm of itchy, scratchy, non-breathing Mormon “magic” underwear.

New York Times, 7-22-21


On almost every subject you can name, science is the answer, whether it’s the climate crisis, whether it’s a health crisis, whether it’s our preeminence in the world of technology, science, science, science, science. To say that wearing a mask is not based on science, I think, is not wise, and that was my comment.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, after calling House Minority Leader Mike McCarthy a “moron” over his objection to the return of a mask mandate on Capitol Hill.

Yahoo News, 7-28-21


It was clear the terrorists perceived themselves to be Christians. I saw the Christian flag directly to my front. Another read ‘Jesus is my savior, Trump is my president.’ Another, ‘Jesus is King.’”

Washington, D.C., Officer Daniel Hodges, describing the pervasiveness of Christian symbols among those who attacked him and other police officers during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Washington Post, 7-27-21


You were concerned that the governor was imposing his own religious beliefs on others?

“I was. I had a problem with that being imposed upon 6.8 million Tennesseans.”

Dr. Michelle Fiscus, in an interview with Phil Williams of Nashville television station News Channel 5, on how Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s delayed the rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine because he believed the Johnson & Johnson vaccine contained fetal tissue. Fiscus was fired on July 12 as the top vaccine official in Tennessee, allegedly to appease Republican state lawmakers who were angry about efforts to vaccinate teenagers. 

NewsChannel5.com, 7-28-21


While most people to the left of the Christian Right view the Project Blitz playbook with revulsion, I see it as a gift to democracy. The playbook and their accompanying briefings and events laid bare their intentions and their game plan. We were handed a vital tool for the defense of democratic values and, arguably, the wider defense of democracy itself. The things that happened in response, I think, are underappreciated, even by some of those who should be taking great pride in their victories.

Researcher Frederick Clarkson, who first exposed the existence of Project Blitz, the secretive Christian nationalist playbook to enact Christian legislation in dozens of states. 

Salon.com, 7-24-21 


Today the question is whether these Christians only support democracy in instrumental ways. And the answer we are getting from many quarters is that they were supportive of democracy as long as they were in charge.

Robert Jones, CEO and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute, in an interview.

Religion Dispatches, 7-20-21